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Member since: Wed Aug 15, 2012, 02:17 PM
Number of posts: 2,590

About Me

I grew up hardcore Republican and conservative (although I never agreed with the religious portion of the party) and I even voted for Bush in 2000. (However, by 2004 I realized that was a mistake) I joined the Army in 1997, when I was 17 years old and my parents had to sign a waiver to get me in that young. I later went to college, obtained a degree in chemistry, and received a commission in the US Army where I served as an Infantry Officer from May 2002 until I was discharged in October 2007. While I was in the Army, I would consider myself your typical hardcore junior officer. I spent some time in Ranger School, did the typical stint at Airborne School, and I even had grandiose dreams giving it a shot at Special Forces selection. However, I deployed to Iraq as an Infantry Platoon Leader from Feb 2004 through Mar 2005. Seeing and being involved in combat as intimately as an Infantryman does really shook up a lot of my core beliefs. I could write an essay on this, but in short I now lean hard to the left with much of my political views.

Journal Archives

I was going to say the same thing.

I have a nifty 70% disability rating for PTSD courtesy of the VA and I'd be screwed if I didn't get that check every month. I mentioned this in a lot more detail in a post I wrote yesterday on another thread about this topic.

Do I feel entittled to it? You bet! The government and their war broke me and I think they owe it to us disabled veterans.

What is funny is that the Republicans will be quick to point out that Abraham Lincoln was a republican president. Didn't Abraham Lincoln preach something about public responsibility for taking care of veterans? What happened to that belief of the Republicans? It's funny to me how the republicans claim to be the only party that supports and loves our military, but I absolutely get more love from the democrats and their policies.

Most people are good people

I did some time in Iraq and I learned a lot about people from my daily patrols and meetings with various local leadership. Just like here, about 99% of the people in the middle east are good people. Also, like here, you have that one small portion of society that is purely evil and wants nothing more than power and money.

If I saw anyone wounded or dieing I'd risk my life to help them - and I believe most people would do the same. Cultural bounderies make no difference. People are people and usually the good prevails.

I hate that the right wing of our politics is so eager to pin all Muslims as evil blood thirsty thugs. At the root of it, they all want the same thing as us: relative security for their families, enough food to eat, and shelter.

thank you, but I wouldn't feel sorry for me

I tell everyone that it is a volunteer army. Although I didn't know what I was getting myself into, I did volunteer for the Army and to be an Infantryman. As messed up as it may be, I volunteered to be an infantryman. The guys I feel sorry are the Vietnam guys who were drafted and served their country despite their better judgement.

Anyways, thank you for the sentiments.

1986 (I think) Reagen bombing Libya

Either that or the Challenger space shuttle blowing up (whichever happened first, I remember both).

I loved Ronald Reagen and I remember this vividly. I was scared shitless. It was very scary for a 6 year old to realize that I could die if some foreign country decided to send bombers to our country to bomb us.

but but but

That means you're a communist, a socialist, a traitor, and anything else the Republicans like to call us!

I completely agree with you. I don't understand why, as a society, we devalue the work and labor that the bottom tier of our society contributes. We need bus drivers, construction workers, and janitors. We wouldn't have crap if there weren't a virtual army of low wage earners working in our factories or illegal immigrants picking our fruit.

As a society, we benefit tremendously from the labor of the people I mentioned above. We owe it to them to provide them health care and a minimum level of subsistence. Their children should be entitled to the same American dream as the children of the middle class or the rich.

But I guess I'm just a bleeding heart liberal pinko commie for spouting such rhetoric

I'm dependant on the government

I have a 70% rating from the VA for PTSD relating to my combat experiences and I collect roughly $1,500 a month tax free from the government. I joined the Army and fought in a war that I was ordered to fight in. I busted my ass in Iraq and gave my all to my fellow Soldiers and a questionable cause. As a result, I have blood all over my hands and a pretty severe case of PTSD. Much of my life is in ruins, I'm a complete freak when I'm out in public, my relationship with my wife and my kids is in shambles (I have a hard time expressing positive emotions like love, even though I consider myself a kind and loving person), and I can hardly keep a job in the civilian world. Do I feel entitled to the money I get? You bet! And I believe every veteran who receives disability compensation from the VA has earned it too!

I also received a veterans hiring preference when I got a federal government job. As a disabled veteran, I made it to the top of the list for potential candidates and, essentially, had to be offered the job before any non disabled veterans could even be considered. Is this unfair to others? Yeah, probably. I'll admit that. However, if I didn't have this hiring preference I probably wouldn't have a job right now and I'd get sucking down a 100% disability rating from the VA and collecting SSDI as well. Instead, the government threw me another bone and gave me the chance to enjoy gainful employment. I love my job and I love working for the government. I love the feeling of contributing to society and it gives me some sense of atonement for what I did in the war in Iraq. The government broke me and I fully believe that they owe it to me to help me take care of myself and to have the opportunity to provide for my family.

I'm so grateful for the help and benefits I receive. Without the government I'm pretty sure I'd either be dead or homeless. There is no way I would have any semblance of a normal life without our government.

Anyone who doesn't agree with me can eat dirt with the rest of the guys I buried in the war.


I really need to develop my opinion a little more I think.

I understand where you are coming from in your post against the draft above. True, the top tier of society won't face the same sacrifice as the bottom tier, but I do believe that you'll get a much more representative sample of our population in the military than we currently have right now - and that is vitally important to mobilizing the entirety of America against war on the level of Vietnam protests.

I love my country and I loved the Army. I worked a lot of great people and minus the war the military really did a lot of good for me and my life. It made me the strong confident person I am today (I used to be a fat nerdy kid who played the clarinet in the high school band - no joke).

I'm very against war. I love the opportunity that the modern military gives people and me to move up in the world and there are a lot of valuable life lessons you can learn by going through things like basic training, Airborne school, Ranger school, etc. However, the bottom line is that the military is a tool of war. And, if you aren't prepared to fight in a war, then get the hell out - which is exactly what I did. I'm not going to argue that some wars are justified, but those ones are few and far between. But I think we agree on this.

For the anti-war camp, the draft would be the best thing ever

If we weren't a volunteer military I'm sure we'd be seeing more anti-war protest. But because the average citizen and the people aren't at risk of dieing for a BS war, they don't really care when it comes down to it. It's not that they have any chance to spending a year in Iraq.

Vietnam = draft = protest. Iraq/Afghanistan = no draft = no protest.

I joined the Army in 1997 and got out in 2007. I remember back around the time that we were getting ready to invade Iraq seeing a story on the news about a group of vietnam era combat veterans who were posting themselves out in front of recruiting stations and who were providing a counter-point to what the recruiters were saying. They were telling people what war was really about and how it shatters lives of anyone involved. I remember thinking "what a piece of shit! How could any patriotic American do that!". Geeze. I was wrong on that. I fought as an Infantryman in Iraq for 13 months and it completely ruined my life. If it becomes apparent that we are on the verge of another war like Iraq (i.e. Iran) I'll be standing in front of the recruiting stations doing just what that Vietnam Vet was doing.

I've never been one to protest or demonstrate for anything, but I'll standing in front of recruiting stations letting people know how much war sucks straight from the mouth of a broken combat veteran. I'm getting fired up and ready to go just thinking about it...

Thank you and your generation

It is because of guys like you and your generation that guys like me and my generation have as much support as we do when we come home from war. The VA, the recognition of PTSD, and a variety of extra benefits that are a huge reason I'm probably not dead or homeless right now. I don't know how I'd be able to survive without the help I get - and it is all because of the struggles that guys like you went though.

I don't know if it helps you at all, but your generation did make the county a better place for your children (my generation). Even if we still fight wars based on ambiguous politics, the country learned a valuable lesson on how to take care of its servicemembers. Thanks you!

There are certain things I liked abotu McCain

A guy who has seen the bad parts of war, I feel, is going to be less likely to send troops to frivalous conflicts.

If the Republicans could ever seperate themselves from the religious and racist crap, they might almost be a palatable party for me. Actually, I'll take that back. They would still be too focused on the top 1% and big business and too against social justice for my liking.

In the same light that I said there are things I liked about McCain, I guess I could say that there are things I liked about George W. - I really liked the fact that he isn't in office anymore!
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